By: Mogotladi Makgato

The former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, calls on the youth to use the remaining time to register to vote. He posted a video on his twitter account reminding them what voting meant to youth people prior 1994.

He remembered the first democratic Election Day that took place in 1994 and the price paid for this day to come about.

“25 years ago, millions of us waited for hours in long queues to cast our votes in South Africa’s very first democratic elections. Many people paid with their lives to bring about this remarkable achievement”, he said.

“Accordingly, we dare not take for granted our right to vote. In our country, 17 million of those eligible to vote are young people. However, only 8 million of these have registered to vote,” he said.

He sharply urged the youth to exercise their right to vote to make a change.
“All of us must vote to bring about the change we seek as well as make an important statement about the South Africa we want.

We therefore urge all our young people to use the remaining time to register at their local IEC offices. Please note that the voters’ roll will only close after the election date has been gazetted.”

He added that the youth must not only register to vote but indeed vote. “Also of great importance, having registered, please vote on Election Day. Every vote matters.”

According to the IEC, over 700 000 new voters registered in January, of the 703 794 new registrations, 574 899 were under the age of 30. More young people are expected to answer his call as proclamation day nears.

On Thursday, the African National Congress (ANC), caucus in Parliament confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa intends to proclaim the election date on Tuesday, 28 February 2019. With that being said citizens have until the end of proclamation day to register to vote.